Family environment hostility as the missing element between school bullying victimization and anorexia
Eating disorders significantly impact the quality of life of the persons they affect, as well as their involvement in school bullying. People with bulimia and binge-eating disorders are known to be more likely to be victims of bullying; however, studies provide mixed evidence on the connection between bullying and anorexia. Therefore, in this paper, we suggest an explanation for the bullying victimization of people with anorexia. Our theoretical framework is based on psychoanalytical research on eating disorders, and we illustrate our arguments with the results of biographical interviews with 50 girls who have been diagnosed with anorexia. We show that a hostile family environment may influence the girls’ proneness to fall victim to school bullying. Therefore, school staff hoping to address the involvement of girls with anorexia in bullying should be aware of the role that family members play in bullying victimization and tailor interventions accordingly.